Blackjack Odds and Payouts

Calculating your odds in blackjack can be very difficult if you are new to the game. With each and every hand played on the table, there is a likelihood of you winning the hand. However, when it comes to blackjack odds, there are a lot of things to consider in order having a winning edge over the house.

The payouts are quite straight forward in blackjack. A blackjack is awarded a payout of 3:2 while insurance is awarded a payout of 2:1. All other wins are awarded a payout of 1:1.

However, Blackjack odds differ from one variation to another and the rules also influence the odds. For instance, a variation making use of a single deck can have odds in favor of player especially card counters while a variation making use of 8 decks favors the house.

However, according to the rules of each variation, the calculation of odds within a given hand can be identical from one variation to another. In blackjack, we speak of hard and soft hands. (A hard hand is a hand that is not likely to bust at all. All hand values below 11 are known as hard hands at which the player is able to double down, or Hit without thinking twice. All hand values above 11 are known as Soft at which they are more likely to bust and a player would have to take caution when making a hit.)Hence, you would have to determine whether you have a hard or soft hand and the calculation of the odds is also based on the dealer’s face-up card.

Therefore, the calculation of odds involves your hand and the dealer’s face up card. This means that for each hand dealt, you should also focus on what the dealer is holding so as to make a betting decision.  Hence, upon calculating the odds, you would need to know when to hit, stand, double down or surrender and in most cases it is not advisable for you not to take insurance. You can only take insurance if you are a card counter.

Blackjack odds are based on analyzing your soft and hard hands against the dealer’s face-up card.  These odds suit all types of variations and this is the best basic strategies that can be used in winning the game. However, when getting deeper, you would now need to adopt various card counting systems and these systems differ according to the variations being used.

The following chat will help you in calculating odds to aid you in your decision making.

H – Hit, S – Stand, D – Double, Y – Split, N – Don’t Split

Player’s Hand    Dealer’s Hand
Hard Hands  2 to 6 7 to A
4 to 8 H H
9 D Hi
10 or 11 D D
12 TO 16 S H
17 TO 21 S S
13 to 15 H H
16 TO 18 D H
19 TO 21 S S
2|2, 3|3, 6|6, 7|7, 9|9 Y N
8|8, A|A Y Y
4|4, 5|5, 10|10 N N

The above chat also shows you when the hands you should ‘double down’, ‘surrender’ and ‘split’. However, during game play, you should be able to calculate the odds quickly and studying the above chat helps beginners are not practicing card counting.  On the other hand, card counting is yet another way of calculating the odds and this now involves the cards being dealt to all players as well as the number of decks being used in the variation as well as the cards remaining in the shoe.Upon looking at the above chat, you can notice that if you have a soft hand (4-8) and the dealer is holding a soft card, the chances of you to burst are minimal. However, in this situation, the best betting action is to Hit than opting to double down.  You can only double down when holding a 9 to 11 against all hands.

The odds improve your game play and will certainly give you an added advantage over the house.

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